Victorian Britain : The Great Courses: Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Patrick N. Allitt
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern History
  • 18 hrs and 36 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

This series of 36 fascinating lectures is a chronological journey into the story of Victorian Britain, from the unexpected ascension to the throne of teenaged Princess Victoria in 1837 to her death in 1901 as the Boer War neared its end.
Presented with all of Victoria's strengths and foibles left intact by an award-winning teacher and author, the lectures invite you to reflect on both the positive and negative aspects of her reign. You'll discover the lives of Victorian women; the situation facing working people and the rise of trade unionism; Victorian achievements in art, literature, architecture, and music; and what Leonard Woolf called "the seriousness of games," and of leisure-time activities as windows on Victorian life.
You'll discuss the important role played by Christianity as a force for both principled adherence to tradition and principled pursuit of change; and the influence of science and the debates over its impact that animated the Victorians.
And you'll learn what the Victorians believed about education; the questions raised by Britain's rule over its empire, the problems of poverty and crime; the discoveries of Victorian explorers in Africa; and much more in this remarkable rendering of a remarkable age.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

So far the best lecturer, decent content

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. Anyone interested in the period will find a broad and sometimes deep tour over the victorian times.


What other book might you compare Victorian Britain to, and why?

It is much much detailed and broader in perspective than Life In Victorian Britain by Patterson but much less contrarian and iconoclastic than A.N Wilson's "The Victorians". However, a more conventional take on this period is a good start.


Which scene did you most enjoy?

The frank description of poverty and classicism.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The above.


Any additional comments?

The lecturer is (so far) the most enjoyable of the entire Great Courses library. Nice delivery, clear voice, pleasent accent.

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- Nils

Less depressing than you might expect!

If you could sum up Victorian Britain in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining. Enlightening. Satisfying.


What other book might you compare Victorian Britain to, and why?

Recently I have listened to 'Understanding Japan' and 'European Thought and Culture in the 19th Century'. The former moved lightly over lots of different topics and the latter was more methodical and academic. This is somewhere in between the two in its style but probably a little better than either because of the charming, sometimes very funny, delivery of Professor Allitt.


Which character – as performed by Professor Patrick N. Allitt – was your favourite?

Himself. He was very likeable.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Certainly not.


Any additional comments?

I was doubtful about this one when I started listening, probably because the title, like Victoria's picture, suggests a sort of grim austerity and lifelessness. But this could not be further from the truth. This one is recommended.

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- ColonelJames

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses